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3/20/2017 5:03:23 PM
Posted: 7/26/2001 6:57:37 AM EDT
Just curious if anyone here has ever had the experience, thoughts, comments , etc. thanks.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 7:00:34 AM EDT
I wish that I can... When I bought my house, I selected the lots, picked out the style, the color of the bricks, the design, and all the options....Is that count?
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 7:06:05 AM EDT
Didn't build one but drew up plans for the house and wired it in with alarm sytem and emergency generator. I'll never do it again though.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 7:14:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 7:16:50 AM EDT
Whether you mean "swing the hammer" or "be the general contractor", I wouldn't do it either way. If you're a "swing the hammer" kind of guy, I'd think about a "cabin" or "hunting shack" first. Once you've done one of these, then you can decide that you should not try anything bigger. You may be able to save some money acting as your own General Contractor. Just make damn sure you know what you are doing. Timing is everything: Remember, it's wiring before insulation!. The problem with this approach is that the subcontractors that you retain (if they are any good) will have loads of work from their regular builders. If they give you a price, it is often higher than they usually charge, and when it comes time to show up to work, they are often "busy" at other jobs. A guy I know is wrestling with this right now, and the house that should have been done is still a water-filled hole in the ground. Good luck!
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 7:27:16 AM EDT
My wife and I just bought a one acre lot, we are planning to build an 1810 SF raised rancher. Two officers I work with did major rennovations acting as the generral contractor. Their comments were never again! But they both were glad they did it, it is a one time deal. They saved $ 30,000 grand by doing it. I am going to use thesame builder. He is a craftsman and has no problem letting you do the scheduling. This is our last home, we have a townhouse 5 miles away from our lot. I had the townhouse built and there were some minor problems with it after the construction. Mostly things I had thought about doing but let the contractor make the choice. I want to ride heard over them this time, just this once.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 7:29:00 AM EDT
It reference to my last remarks. I wired it in in August which is very hot and humid in LA. Also forgot to to mention that I also wired in the phone jacks and coax into all the rooms I figured I would use. Something to think about when building or contracting to wire in all of these goodies for the future. The emergency generator had a transfer panel also. My occupation is in the electrical field. I had to purchase quite a bit of special tools for doing the job though of which is something else to think about. Another thing is the local codes.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 7:43:53 AM EDT
I was thinking along the lines of a scandinavian design KIT house, A friend told me about a company in Colorado that sends a truck out to your site and the peices fit together like a 'lego set', (oversimplified I'm sure) Anyhoo, I thought I might look into it. Thanks.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 7:47:19 AM EDT
I built my own garage. Does that count???? The building goes up fast. Its the details that kills ya.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 7:51:07 AM EDT
I'm a contractor.Unless you know every aspect of home construction,I wouldn't do it alone.Now if you are talking about being your own general contractor thats a little diffrent.some things you are going to have to sub out to get quality.I sub out drywall finnishing.there are people who do it faster[cheaper than I could]and better.I sub out roofing ,most of the time because life is too short.ROOFING SUCKS,I hate it.Even if you are your own general contractor you need someone who knows the ins and outs.Not trying to scare you.I work for people who are there own GC all the time and prefer it most of the time.Email me if you have any specific questions.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 7:58:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2001 7:59:57 AM EDT by Lougotzz]
well I didn't build the structure but I bought a house that was a disaster. I gutted the whole house. Nothing but the frame was standing. Then I personaly put it back together. It took me 7 months of nights weekends holidays and days off. Was not fun but the house is very cool now. To bad it is in NY. I want to get out of here. I will not do it again. To much work. If you have no construction back ground don't attempt what I did. These home shows are a scam. They tell everyone they can remodel their kitchen,bath,home with no experience. I tell you this you will waste you money if you don't know how to do this. I am in construction for 20 years. In those 20 years different parts of construction so I learned a lot by watching. I am the type of guy that eventhough I am not planning on doing something, if a tradesman is doing his trade I will ask questions how to do that and why. And what to look out for. Just for future knowledge. It paid off.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 7:59:43 AM EDT
You know that old saying, "The person who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client"? Well, something similar can be said for those who act as their own general contractors. In my work troubleshooting problems with building materials, I've run across more than my share of neophyte builder/owners who experienced serious problems on the job but cannot accept the fact that one cannot eliminate all the risk no matter how much planning and precautions are taken. These guys are next to the absolute worst to work with. Another thing to consider is most sub-contractors feel no loyalty to a one-timer GC. They know they aren't going to be working for you again so they can screw off or mess up all they want. The only way I would do the GC gig myself is if I live in a small community where I'll be seeing the subs after the job. P.S. The absolute worst people to deal with on a construction project is a church building committee. Talk about a clusterfvck!
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 9:07:46 AM EDT
My wife and I did build a house about 6 yrs ago- 2600 sq ft raised ranch with walk out basement and 3 car garage. It was the hardest thing we've done (significantly harder than med school). We did much of it out of "foam forms" which are expanded polystrene foam blocks you fit together then pour concrete into. That was a mistake- with framing you nail thing together, and if you make a mistake you take it apart, not so with concrete. My advice to people who are interested is: It is doable, but difficult. If I were to do it over, I would have the foundation poured, and not do it myself (ours took eight months to finish as it involved 5 foot footers, a retaining wall which was part of the basement, #6 rebar, and 80+ yards of concrete BTW I thought I was going to finish the whole house in 6 mos- WRONG). Framing is easy to do. It takes time to learn to hang windows and doors, but is not too difficult. Drain waste and vent plumbing is very hard, as the codes are very complex, and we wasted more money than it would have costed to have someone do it professionally, as I didn't use enough glue the first time (or the second time in some places). Electrical is fairly straight foreward. Hanging drywall is easy, finishing is not. Siding and roofing is easy, don't know about stucco or rock work or brick exteriors. The most important thing is to remember your priorities- your relationship with your spouse, and your relationship with God.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 9:19:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ARMALITE FAN: I'm a contractor..ROOFING SUCKS,I hate it..
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Amen to THAT!!!!!!!!! I even used 3' x 14' sheets of metal to cover my garage roof. I still hated roofing it. So much so I'm PAYING SOMEONE ELSE to do my house roof.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 9:31:13 AM EDT
Built around 8 for myself in last 20 years. All spare time. I think to do even one, and I am a carpenter/contractor/, you have to have some sort of mental problem, i.e. "crazy." Requires 7 days a week, approx. 40hrs. per week in addition to your regular job, that's 80 hrs. a week, for about 6 to 9 months, depending on how much, if any help you get. If you aren't young, forget it. If you are young, under 40, give it a go. Houses come in all different design and build levels. Pick an easy one. The more corners, the harder and longer it takes. 98% mental, as the body will follow the mind on this one. Seen more people get divorced over this than you would imagine. If you do it, get some advice, stay calm, and don't get excited. If you live where I live, with the seasonal changes, be prepard to work on days when it is 100 degrees, and then the days when it gets down to 0 degrees. Can't take any days off, cause they pile up on you, and you will never get done. Have I said enough?????
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 9:32:49 AM EDT
My other big hobby is building an airplane. The wife-to-be (now just wife) did not like my old house, so we pooled resources and bought a bigger one, then built a 24 x 36 shop. We are both engineers, so planning it was fun. We contracted the concrete, and did everything else ourselves: Framing; roof trusses; siding; roof; windows; exterior paint; heat; wiring; gas; heating plant; insulation; wallboard; interior paint; floor paint. It was not as complicated as even a house, but more than a barn or garage. It is beautiful and the airplane is beginning to take shape. Build another one? Never again.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 9:39:05 AM EDT
Helped my parents build their house about 9 years ago. It was alot of work but in the end it was worth it to have it exactly the way you want it. GOOD LUCK
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 10:50:45 AM EDT
I built my own about 15 years ago when I retired. I did my own design (specifically for wood heat), drawings, material specs, etc. I had small outfit do the excavation and poured concrete full basement since I thought it was beyond my ken. If you have the time and have, or can develop the skills and tools, it's a very worthwhile project. I worked single-handed, 16/7 for the most part, and had the weather-tight shell up in 6 months, and the inside finished in another 12. I'm (probably inordinately) proud of the fact that every stick and nail in it was put there by me. It's a small house - 1000 square - but adequate for two in retirement. Two story, gambrel roof, cedar shingle siding, hardwood or slate floors, R-30 insulation, porches on all four sides - some roofed, some not depending on orientation. The interior is all real wood, no wallboard, no paint anywhere. I also put up a two-car garage in my spare time. :) It's probably some sort of Renaissance Man/Alpha Male thing, but I think everyone should have to build at least one house and live in it a while.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 11:19:31 AM EDT
One more reply. Look at how a maze is built, then design or have designed a small hidden space (room) with a "secret" access that when the average intruder breaks in and goes from room to room there is no way to tell that some-thing is not quite "Kosher". Good place for a safe or whatever. Of course anybody involved in the project would know !!! This space could be used as a storm shelter if properly designed and access in/out can be assured, etc. I live in tornado/hurricane country.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 11:27:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2001 11:27:38 AM EDT by juslearnin]
Just thought I'd throw in a few more comments. We sold our house 2 yrs ago and made about $40-50,000 on it, but if you consider we spent EVERY moment of spare time on it for 2 1/2 yrs to build it, that is not a great return on our investment. I do agree with the guy who said "everyone should have to build one once", because it gives you much more confidence to try other things, whether it is fixing your car (just did my first clutch), or fixing what ever breaks at home. The experience is probably much more valuable than the money you save. Also, the greates stress for us was the bank every month saying- you are going too slow, and will not finish, so if you can do it slowly with cash it would be much less stressful.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 12:55:44 PM EDT
WE built our own, 2100 sq ft. saltbox..... I'm a plumbing/heating mechanic with a general const. background, and I don't think I'll do this again. while the house is exactly what we wanted, if you are doing the actual work yourself, consider this: You can usually hire a framing crew to moonlight on weekends, and the house will be under roof in 4 weeks. If you try to frame the house yourself, it will take six months. Wiring is not hard, neither is plumbing, but local codes will bar you from doing your own. heating and particularly a?c will require a specialist, as this is often forgotten until it is too late to install a proper system. The advantage of doing it yourself is that you have the choice of best design, or lowest costs. Most general contractors don't understand quality, but they all understand CHEAP! Of all things in building construction, the mechanical systems, (plumbing, heating, A/C and electrical) are often given short shrift by most GCs the want to maximize their profit, and since they don't understand mechanical systems, they go for the cheapest, which is the most expensive and disruptive to try to repair later. It can be hard to make a new homeowner understand why his A/C doesn't work well because it was done by the lowest bidder, and and he got exactly what he paid for.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 1:57:43 PM EDT
I bought a 1200 sqft home on a 3/4 acre lot. I added on 3000sqft and a 1200sqft garage. I will NEVER do it again, and I have 4 different contractors lisences.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 1:58:24 PM EDT
Yeah, about seventeen times for customers, & three for myself. [i]And a zillion room additions.[/i]
garandman:
Originally Posted By ARMALITE FAN: I'm a contractor..ROOFING SUCKS,I hate it..
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Amen to THAT!!!!!!!!!
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Double amen to that, I've probably done about forty full house roofs - but I hate it. The truth is I'm a sissy about doing roofing in the summer (especially F@%#*!^ WHITE!). I don't mind sheathing, or papering the things, with three good helpers I can knock out a 3,000 sq. ft roof in several hours, but I turn into a damned popsicle doing roofing in July, or August. It isn't worth hiring a roofer just for an addition, so I always do them myself. I don't mind doing a house in the spring, or fall, but I'd never make it in AZ, TX, NM, etc. I never do the concrete either, it uses way too much equipment if you don't have the room, & the guys who do it 100% of the time do a nicer job anyway. Same with carpeting,,,, I just plain never tried a whole house, & I can't do it for the price the carpet layers can anyway. I've always done my own rough framing, plumbing, electric, cabinets, finish/trim work. Don't mind doing sheetrock, but (sober) "dry-wallers" are usually faster.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 2:19:24 PM EDT
Man you guys have struck a chord, I really appreciate the advice. Thank you for so many good points. [beer][beer][beer]
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 2:36:50 PM EDT
My company builds commercial and industrial projects ranging from $500,000 to $8,000,000. Three years ago my wife and I bought 10 acres and built a 5,000 SF house with a walk out basement from plans we had drawn up for us by an architect I work with all of the time. It was an eye opening experience to say the least. It took almost 2 years to build our house. We can build almost anything under 250,000 SF in about eight months, or less, but houses are different. We didn't screw around, used good contractors and purchased most of the materials ourselves. We saved a lot of money, but I would not recommend it to you unless you have a thorough knowledge of the building process. I did all of our granite tile, ceramic tile, stained concrete flooring, landscaping, clean up and some other items because I am a control freak and I wanted to at least do some of the work myself. You can save a lot of money buying materials yourself, even if you have a builder. Most builders in my market mark up items 10% for OH and 10% for profit, or a total of about 21%. On big ticket items like framing lumber, shingles, bathroom fixtures, etc., you can save a bundle and ensure that the items get paid for. If you just think this would be fun and you don't know an awful lot about it, don't do it. It was two years of hell and I drove by and stopped on my way into the office and on my way home from work every day. On the other hand, you can really get taken for a ride by a shoddy builder and most of them won't spend an extra $ 10.00 to make something last, or work better for you. The market is really tight in residential and most customers are only concerned with price. Good luck if you decide to do it. It was a really bitch for me and I manage construction projects every day.
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 3:06:52 PM EDT
yeah i used cardbaord gets cold in the winter and had to insulate it with newspaper [:D] j/k
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 3:24:09 PM EDT
I'm a cable/satellite contractor and work for people building there own home quite a lot. I would recommend if you do this, run at least dual RG6 cable to any place you may think you would EVER want a TV. Also have a phone drop at each cable location. Think ahead where your computer(s) are going to be and put more electical outlets in that location. If you have any plans for surround sound, run speaker wire before drywall as well. Basically, use common sense and you'll come out ahead. Jim
Link Posted: 7/27/2001 10:23:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Hollywood: I'm a cable/satellite contractor and work for people building there own home quite a lot. I would recommend if you do this, run at least dual RG6 cable to any place you may think you would EVER want a TV. Also have a phone drop at each cable location. Think ahead where your computer(s) are going to be and put more electical outlets in that location. If you have any plans for surround sound, run speaker wire before drywall as well. Basically, use common sense and you'll come out ahead. Jim
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Excellent suggestions. I even put a phone jack in the master bathroom. It seemed that when taking a bath the phone always would ring. I've live in the country so when I did the electrical the utility company came out, inspected and then approved the installation before power was turned on. If I would have been in city limits I would have had to use a contract electrician. I have wall to wall carpeting and almost installed a build in vacuum cleaner system so you wouldn't have to tote around a vacuum.
Link Posted: 7/27/2001 12:25:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/27/2001 12:23:00 PM EDT by RoadDog]
I even had a craftsman build both of the sturdy dog houses for my two dogs. Does that answer your question? [:)] In my family we only buy the homes and call our trusty family repairman to fix things. We are lazy sona-of-guns! [BD] [b]-RoadDog[/b]
Link Posted: 7/27/2001 3:50:04 PM EDT
Fortunately the contractor I used was a friend and put up with my inexperience I made suggestions on how, what and when to do certain work so that it would fit in with what he was doing. My wife did all of the painting and staining. All the cabinets, trim etc. were stained, painted before carpenter even cut it for installation. Saved a lot of time as all that had to be done was a little touch up as the mess was all made outside. I'm talking about all of the molding and cabinets, etc. Hollywood made a good point on the RG-6 cable of which I didn't use in 1986 as never thought I would eventually get a satellite TV system. The coax was supplied free by my cable company at the time when I told them I was having a house built. I had the utility company run my cable underground to my service entrance. It cost an extra $300.00 in 1986. I wired all major appliances to a dedicated single outlet/circuit breaker. For emergency generator I wired in a separate sub-panel with all of the stuff I wanted to run wired into that panel of which was sized to the generator I had. In other words the Air Conditioning, Water heater, Dishwasher, Trash Compactor and at that time the stove were not able to operate at all when I had a power outage as the generator would not handle them. The transfer panel when switched operated all outlets, fans, lights, etc. I can actually transfer power over and the utility power company will be running one parts of the house and the generator the rest of the house at the same time. There are many excellent books at Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. It took me 3 hours to put together a TV stand last week, I sure would not tackle a house. I did build a green house though about 5 years ago, at least it doesn't leak. All my appliances I purchased at a big savings by getting Sears Contract Catalog of which has way lower prices that the regular wish book.
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